When Toy asked us to collaborate with them to develop a holiday viral campaign for OfficeMax, not many wish lists started, or even ended with office supply stores. The category name itself doesn¹t exactly elicit the same tinge of excitement normally associated with the Macy’s, Best Buys and Santa’s Workshops of the world. Fortunately for all of us, we found a way to change all that.

Like we do for many of our serious marketing challenges, we produced an incredibly
light-hearted solution, ElfYourself.com. The innovative, elf-laden site allowed users to upload faces of themselves, their friends and their family members and put them on cheerful dancing holiday elves to create customized ecards. A toll-free number even let users record a personalized elfin’ greeting.

The results were shocking. Users forwarded the cards to their loves ones, posted links on their blogs and social networking profiles; footage was recorded to YouTube; and during its rise as the quintessential holiday ecard, Elf Yourself was featured on morning, talk, news and sports shows across the country, resulting in 193 million visits and the elfamorphosis of over 123 million faces. OfficeMax saw a 190% increase to it’s web-traffic and a sustained a steady increase in online and walk-in sales.